I met Hannah Grimley during my freshman year of college at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

I became friends with her during sophomore year when we were on the same leadership team for a student-run Christian organization on campus.

With both of us being deeply opinionated people with a penchant for passionate conversation, Hannah and I enjoyed numerous conversations about religion, relationships, and responsibility.

I probably wore my welcome out more than a couple times staying late into the night talking with Hannah and her husband Gabe in their small (but welcoming) living room.

If there’s any joy in disagreement, Hannah and I certainly pushed back on each other’s opinions in pursuit of that joy.

As happens with many college friendships, the conversations and interactions thinned out as time marched on and majors turned into careers.

For me, reading Pushing Into Joy was a deep dive back into the inner workings of my friend’s brain.

There’s an intensity to the words on each page, formed and fashioned by experience, yearning, and pain.

Each of the 27 sections of this book give the reader a peek at the uncertainties and internal arguments that run through the heart and soul of Hannah Grimley.

But, Hannah does not reveal her vulnerabilities with any sense of apathy or downtroddenness. Rather, each chapter is filled with conviction. Hannah beseeches her fellow mothers, sisters, and girlfriends to never let an open mind or an unsure heart keep them from decisively choosing to improve and enjoy their lives.

Pushing Into Joy is a book about permission.

Permission to not know what’s right.
To fight for what you believe in.
To improve yourself.
To love yourself right where you’re at.

Hannah encourages her readers to shed the guilt that holds them back from recognizing the joy they can find in every moment.

Without denying or belittling the raw pain of life, Hannah reminds us that we can transcend pain by ruthlessly applying the practice of gratitude in the midst of the minutiae of our days.

Written in a straightforward and practical style, this book will make readers feel as if they are sitting across from Hannah whilst on a coffee date as she cheers them on.

Hannah’s pursuit of a life of authenticity reaches a new height in this work as she publishes her personal journey in the form of several happy admonitions—to her readers and to herself—to make pushing into joy a daily habit.

For those looking to love others more fully or dare to love themselves at all, Hannah Grimley’s book is a great place to start giving yourself permission.

You can follow Hannah on Instagram @hrgrimley.